Austrian school drops yoga on religious grounds

AP News
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Posted: Oct 08, 2014 12:07 PM

VIENNA (AP) — An Austrian primary school has dropped yoga classes for children after a mother argued that yoga goes against Christian teachings.

Yoga teacher Ingrid Karner says she was told to stop classes at the school in the southeastern village of Dechantskirchen after a complaint "that it's not allowed, according to the Bible."

School principal Maria Hofer told the Die Kleine Zeitung newspaper that no parents complained when courses started this year. But she says they were stopped after the unidentified mother said even the word "yoga ... had negative effects."

School inspector Helga Thomann says schools should not offer anything linked to "esoteric" practices.

Yoga has its origins in Hinduism and Buddhism. While some forms retain strong links with those religions, others have become widely accepted as physical and mental therapy.